I've been remiss in posting much of anything these days. My actions have not been living up to my intentions.
There have been a couple of noteworthy things from the past few weeks that are worth sharing.
First off, she had a cardiology appointment, the first one in two years. And it went great! I had anxiety that we'd have to hold down a screaming girl for her echo, or that even worse, she'd refuse altogether and would have to schedule one under anesthesia. But I shouldn't have worried. She giggled through the EKG, pulled off her own stickers, kept asking for them back, and then sat in my lap and watched Curious George while the echocardiogram was performed.
The results were as good as last time. No problems with valve leakage, which is pretty rare with that type of surgery. No problems whatsoever. She doesn't have to go back for another THREE years!
So that was exciting news.
She also recently had her evaluation with the school district as she prepares to exit Early Intervention (for those that aren't familiar, it's the in-home special education program for children birth to three years old.) In Oregon, IEPs don't start until a child is 5, so Cora will still have an IFSP. But she will be graduating to a new program and a new team, and will be leaving behind the beloved teacher that has been with her since she was a tiny baby. That sad day will be coming way too fast!
The evaluation itself surprised me. I was able to choose that they NOT perform a standardized test, which, due to Cora's defiant nature, would probably have revealed that she had no measurable skills at all. So they observed her and asked me questions. Overall the report was OK. Much of it seemed pretty accurate and listed goals that seem reasonable for her. But there were a couple areas where they obviously underestimated her and suggested goals that she has mastered long ago. I guess when you have a child who doesn't perform on cue for strangers, or who gets distracted by a huge pile of toys and doesn't want to be directed to "boring" activities, that's what you get. I plan to write a letter for her file and list the things that she is already able to do, and disagree with the portions that don't sit well with me.
In two weeks we will meet with her current Early Intervention team and her new Early Childhood team and set goals for services. We aren't planning on having her start preschool right when she turns three. So she will continue to get services at home, but with a new team. She will most likely wait and start in September in a more traditional private preschool, rather than go to the school district's special education preschools. For now that seems like the best choice for us. Although I know she will likely benefit a lot from the social aspects of preschool, I really don't think there will be any harm in waiting an extra eight months.
Other than that, we've been indulging in winter traditions, trying to coax Cora out into the cold, and listening to lots of Christmas music. We will have family in town again soon, and then will be at my parents' house for Christmas. The rest of the month is bound to be a wild, crazy, busy and fun adventure.
I'll leave you with some photos of us getting our third Christmas tree with Cora. It was way better than the tears that accompanied last year's visit to the tree farm. And she has even enjoyed helping decorate.